Missouri Valley (03/05/14)

By John Ewing
Championship Week – which teams will win automatic bids to the NCAA tournament? We simulated each conference tournament to find out.


 
Conference tournaments are the unofficial start of March Madness. Over the next two weeks, single-elimination tournaments will be played with automatic bids to the NCAA tournament at stake.
 
We have simulated each conference tournament using our Bracket Simulator to predict which teams will punch their ticket to the Big Dance. The Bracket Simulator is a free tool that gives you the power to simulate the postseason for any sport. Create your own bracket now!
 
PredictionMachine.com has been very profitable in conference tournaments. All-time on the site, "normal" or better conference tournament picks are 84-54 (61% ATS and O/U). For access to conference tournament picks, click here.
 
When: March 6-9
 
Where: St. Louis, MO
 
The automatic bid goes to: Wichita State (62.3%)
 
This one is pretty easy; the Shockers are in the top 10 of our Power Rankings – only one other team in the MVC ranks inside the top 100. Wichita State is a lock for an at-large bid regardless of what happens in the conference tournament but teams on the bubble will be watching for bid thieves. 
 
And if they lose: Northern Iowa (21.9%)
 
The Panthers were second in scoring offense (just behind Wichita State) in the MVC – ranked a respectable 31st in offensive efficiency. Northern Iowa will win if they are dialed in from long range; the Panthers attempted the most three pointers in the conference (also made the most).
 
Bid Thieves:
 
Indiana State: Looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. The Sycamores will need Jake Odum to lead the way, the senior broke Larry Bird’s record for made free throw attempts.
 
Odds to win the MVC (based on 50,000 simulations of the conference tournament) 

Seed Team Semifinal Title Game Champ.
1 Wichita St. 87.7 75.7 62.3
8/9 Drake/Evansville 12.4 6.5 2.9
4 Missouri St. 32.7 4.7 1.6
5 Illinois St. 67.4 13.2 5.7
3 N. Iowa 63.2 39.4 12.6
6 S. Illinois 36.9 17.0 3.7
2 Indiana St. 65.3 31.4 8.4
7/10 Bradley/Loyola-Chi. 34.7 12.3 3.0